Monday, 28 February 2011

Selfridges, London

We love the show stopping scheme at Selfridges right now.  This scheme is based around the latest Bright young things with Selfridges having "scoured the UK to find the most creative and exciting new names in the worlds of fashion and art." "From jewellers and milliners to illustrators and set designers, Selfridges' Bright Young Things [have adorned] the windows with their latest collections alongside their contact details and logo".  We think this is a wonderful idea, if only other department stores would have the same kind of avant garde thinking as these guys and we could perhaps move everything else along in the world of retail rather than pull the ladder up behind us.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

COS, London

Absolutely bang on trend, COS right now has mannequins with dipped legs in Blue.  We have seen a similar thing with the hair of celebrities around town which we actually really like.  However, while it was strangely wonderful that Visual Merchandising has caught up so soon we are also simultaneously rather pleased.  Do check out this brand right now who seem to have really gripped the Fashion bull by the horns and are bringing the cutting edge to the high street.  Of course, by the time the rest of the high street have caught on, it will have reached every local market and housing project in this city - such is the nature of the diffusion theory.  Still, thank you COS for leading the way here.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Nicole Farhi, London

Have you seen the latest scheme at Nicole Farhi?  This is one of our favourite quality brands right now particularly as they always do some many wonderfully creative things.  The structure here flows from these tiny windows threading its way through the interior of this commercial space drawing one from the outside in and beyond. We always enjoy the sculptural perspective that these guys employ which appear to be their USP.  Their particular strength is the informed process that they go through to create their outcomes.  Using Shlappi Mannequins too really is an art in itself which these guys just always get so right. 

Friday, 25 February 2011

New Collection, Panache Display, London

You may remember that we mentioned the launch of Jersey Girl from Panache last October with their gorgeous finishes, swan-like necks and wonderful size 8 figures.  This month Panache Display have launched their complementary male figure, Jersey Boys.  We recently bought some figures from this company ourselves so we know the quality of this stuff, which arrived perfectly finished and in good time for the job in hand.  What more could you ask for?  The Jersey Boy range are slim mannequins, sculptured and manufactured exclusively by Panache Display who offer this range which is both relaxed and stylised.  These gorgeous figures are supplied with glass base plates and with a foot or ankle rod with the standard finish in either Matt or of course in the high White gloss -  the likes of which we have seen used by all of the desirable luxury brands.  Naturally, with a company as creative as Panache, this is not the only finish offered and as usual the only limitation is your imagination.  Fabrics, finishes, colours, and combinations of both are limitless.  Do also check out their wonderful new West London showroom too if you have time.  The interior space is just like an artists studio oozing and buzzing with the creativity that only this company know how to produce.  Contact:  for more details about Jersey Boy and their other collections.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Alexander McQueen, London

We were quite stunned viewing the spectacle at Alexander McQueen this week.  And these shoes..!  Wow, wow and wow.  We've spotted lots of Butterflies around at the moment both in Fashion and within Interiors, particularly at Dwell right now, so again they are making a huge statement within these innovative brands.  The Butterfly dress at the McQueen store is absolutely sensational and really worth a visit to view in person if you can.  It really does look like it is covered in actual Butterflies.  Behind it, of course we also have the strands of hanging  butterflies too, although again they all look so real.  These "strands" of stuff can be viewed all around town right now.  However, here at McQueen really is the show stopper.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Liberty, London

It was virtually impossible not to stop by Liberty this week and not be stunned.  We love the fact that this old ship timber framed building has been dragged into the 21st Century by the creative team here with this installation.  What is so incredibly exciting is to see is a window scheme come from inside of the glass and utilise the outside of their site (albeit only on the ground floor).  With its crumpled pasted posters screaming about LOVE magazine, the bi annual fashion Bible, any viewer / passers by are seemingly magnetically drawn in to take a closer look.  Job very well done we think.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Zara, London

London Fashion week really has well and truly landed at Zara on Oxford St.  We love the wigs with pegs and these wonderfully coloured ones in particular with references - whether intentional or not but are rather reminiscent and a nod - to the film The Fifth Element.  Overall this site appears like a scene in Total Recall too. This really is quite a spectacle.  We love the humour and show stopping statement here at this brands flagship site in the centre of it all.  Many thanks guys for sharing the visual of it all.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Recent Commission @ RetailStoreWindows.Com

Over the last two years the UK's high streets have seen a sharp rise in the number of shop vacancies particularly within town and city centres – circumstances that of course have been widely reported both in trade journals and national and local newspapers.  Stockport (near Manchester, England) has not been immune to this trend.  Therefore, in response to these issues Stockport Council has been working with a number of partners on a wide range of measures to help both reduce both the impact and amount of vacant units and prevent existing occupied units from becoming vacant.
As part of an overall business programme the Council introduced several new schemes that they hope will be attractive to both landlords and agents of existing vacant units and those who may be interested in occupying vacant premises. The schemes include grants to encourage and assist owners of vacant properties, new businesses and not for profit community groups/organisations to improve and occupy vacant units.  Stockport Art Gallery has been collaborating with the Town Centre Management Team and Merseyway shopping centre to develop and roll out a multi faceted project which will simultaneously deliver on all partner aims, which were for this project:
1. To improve the appearance of vacant shop units in the Stockport Town Centre with the intention of improving its appearance by reducing the blight created by vacant and frequently neglected retail units
2. To increase interest and awareness in empty units through the process of visual animation and indirectly impact on interest in potential lettings- “create a sense of what might be”
3. Create an interest through the project activity itself in the Town Centre and drive up footfall in the Town Centre by either effective project promotion through networking and /or satellite activity.
The project is also intended to:
4. Increase awareness of the Town Centre cultural venues by developing a platform to promote and raise the profile of the Stockport cultural offer and by taking forward the council’s commitment to increase access to the Stockport collection through increased display
5. Deliver a dissemination activity which will share learning and demonstrate best practice to provide a clear project legacy
6. Work in partnership with the council visual arts and curatorial team.

The team at were involved in this regeneration with the recording of the existing vacant sites and development of potential aspirational concepts through to completion.  The existing vacant sites included 7 window sites as follows:
Former River Island Site

Former Burtons Site

Former Blacks Site

Concepts for each unit needed to link vacant units to a series of over arching themes, and create a trail and a critical mass to enhance the visitor experience as well as encouraging potential new retail tenants.  Each installation also had to include objects / artefact's from the local museum collections and art work from the gallery which reflect the borough's cultural offer and the kinds of opportunity available to Stockport residents across Town Centre. The intention of this was to enhance understanding of the Town Centre offer- both retail and cultural therapy side by side. (Town Central Cultural Venues include Stockport Art Gallery, Staircase House, Stockport Story Museum, The Air Raid Shelters and Hat Works)
Ultimately, the project ambition was to drive visitors/shoppers across and around the main shopping areas; whilst increasing the over all time spent in the Town Centre, and therefore increasing the propensity to indulge in retail, through encouraging a cross over from cultural venues to the Town Centre and vice versa.  Having visited the enormous store of artefact's available we selected some of the below:

Plaster Bust Forms from 1800's

Early Hair Dryer

Wash board, buckets, dolly, trunks
 After a marathon week of implementation, this is some of what we produced.......


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Nicole Farhi, London Fashion week

We had the incredible pleasure of attending the Nicole Farhi London Fashion week show at the Royal Opera House this afternoon.  What a stunning show.  Of course the usual fashionista were in attendance as well as the Grand Dames of Fashion which just helps to make these occasions ever more fun and interesting too.  If you didn't have an invitation, here are some images of the show for you to enjoy.

Lanvin, London

We love the Lanvin store along Saville Row right now breathing some cool fresh air into this dusty cob webbed area of London's West End.  Thankfully there are no dreadful global multiple coffee houses along this street - yet - although I guess its only a matter of time.  We've always felt that this part of town always had a bit of a whiff of aged damp trouser about it so it is refreshing to see some cool places along this part of town.  Mannequins with their bright colourful Afros am sure have raised a few long grey wire haired eyebrows along this street, but who cares.  Its fresh and cool and unless the dusty ageing brands along this street haul themselves into the 21st century, we will ultimately just visit their outputs at a future V&A retrospective. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Diesel, London

Diesel having been producing some incredible schemes at their Bond St. site, although we're not sure that this is one of them.  Large and badly stretched multiple canvasses screams to us that this is a low budget gap filler scheme rather than one that is considered and purposeful  Before you all shout at us, this is not the fault of the creative team, we believe, but the fact that budgets have been so streamlined (corporate speak - we'd prefer the term, completely annihilated and therefore crucifying creative teams into submission) and creative teams are really having to work even harder on such ridiculously low budgets that corners have to be cut.  Come on Diesel, support your creative team.  How your product is presented is everything.  Your product prices are high Diesel and we cant imagine that you are a poor company so give your creative guys a decent budget and allow them to continue to produce the incredible creative work we've seen previously at this store.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Matches Fashion, London

Images Courtesy and Copyright Matches Fashion
As we begin to get into the full swing of London Fashion week, there are some incredible schemes out there on the high street to entertain and wow us all.  Matches Fashion is no exception to this and great inspiration for concept development and amazing installations at their very best.  'The scheme [at Matches Fashion] was based on the "Neon" trend, [where they have] showcased the likes of C.Kane, Roksanda Ilincic, Holly Fulton & Chrissie Morris shoes in the women's windows & Rake / Burberry Prorsum in mens [wear]. The rods [illustrated in the images] are made from polished clear acrylic and lit from above which then travelled down the length of the pole.'  'The backdrops were made from white pyramid sound insulation tiles'.  We love the use of materials that the guys at Matches Fashion have used - simple, clean and purely stunning.  Thanks guys for sharing this with us. 

Thursday, 17 February 2011

On the Streets, London

We love the Fine Art Society as they change their product and windows regularly.  Thanks guys for such another wonderful treat.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Prada, London

We were completely wowed by this scheme at Prada recently.  Its not so much that the scheme is that innovative, but it is so exciting with its use of colour, textures and photography that we have to share this with you.  We're keeping this entry short while we prepare for some up and coming events, so in the meantime please enjoy the visuals.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Royal Wedding Sick Bags, Lydia Leith, Ilustrator

Images Courtesy and Copyright Lydia Leith

Now that we finally have Valentines Day firmly out of the way, next stop the Royal Wedding?  While we have seen nothing visual yet happening on the high street (unless you know otherwise) we came across the amazing work of Lydia Leith.  Lydia produces illustrations, screen prints and gorgeous drawings.  You would be bonkers not to check her out.  Our favourite bits, of course, are these screen printed Royal Wedding Sick bags.  How fun are these?  If your budgets are tight or if you have tiny spaces, you could do no worse than include these essential little gems in your commercial space for a bit of topicality and maybe in a variety of sizes or in a repetition format. Go on be brave.  Truly a collectors item too - preferably unused of course.  In the meantime, do have a look at Lydia's wide ranging work which has all sorts of applications in your commercial environment.  Lydia can be found at

Monday, 14 February 2011

Tiffany, London

We love this Valentine's scheme from Tiffany right now.  With their repetition of these circular embroidery frames and embroidered letters spelling of course Love and some with little narratives, complete with tiny spools of embroidery thread.  It is refreshing to see no dreadful Heart motifs in sight for which we are truly thankful, while still communicating this seasons event.  Always a pleasure to see creativity happening here but maybe its time to sort out the interior of this store too?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Whistles, London

Images courtesy and copyright Whistles
We love these new installations at Whistles right now.  Who would have thought that this brand would be so bold and quite honestly - fun.  There's an ever so slight whiff of Urban Outfitters meets Topshop, but who cares, this brand is starting to look cool again and that's what counts.  We're not sure who this brand target (well, actually don't like to say who we think their aiming at), but that really doesn't matter at least to us viewing this on the visual elements here.  We think this would raise a smile in any shopper, and lets be honest a bit of  "shoppertainment" never killed anyone - did it?  In fact, if anything this would draw in any savvy shopper even just to take a look and rediscover this brand without alienating them.  So get out there and take a look for yourself and just enjoy.

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